Cold Irons

Sitting in a chair, at home,
my mind is circumnavigating itself.
Sure feels like the crazies.
Especially since memory is in the service
of fizziness and distortion.

Outside, the clouds are pewter,
the color of chains, of heavy irons,
with light leaching wherever it can
which is mostly no place.

Inside, I look around for something
that matters less than me.
Not the cobweb. Not even the dead bugs
stuck to those silk threads’ outer rim.
Truth is, there is no equation
that works with how I’m feeling right now.

Can’t explain it,
can only describe how the house
is cut in halves,
with me living on one side,
family on the other,
how upstairs can feel as far away as the moon
and the cellar is in league with the devil.

They say I did all these things,
in triumph, like they’re celebrating how it wasn’t them.
All of their miraculous presumptions.
Not one could look inside my mind
and see that it hasn’t been treated well.

The cops will be here any minute.
The distant sirens give me grief.
They’ll say, “You’re guilty, boy,
and everybody else is innocent.”
The law will slap handcuffs on me.
More cold, more metal, for me to feel.
I’ll go along quietly as all prisoners must.
Maybe they’ll lock me up for good this time.
I prefer to be inside.
Just not inside me.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in New World Writing, North Dakota Quarterly and Dissident Voice. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in California Quarterly, Birmingham Arts Journal, La Presa and Shot Glass Journal. Read other articles by John.